(3TV/CBS 5) − Instead of the usual New Year’s resolutions, why not make 2019 the year you start on your financial bucket list!
A financial bucket list is all of the things you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket.” Just like skydiving and traveling the world, a financial bucket list should contain lofty, yet attainable goals.
Setting these goals and taking control may help you feel more confident and secure in your financial future.
Certified financial planner Graham Williams from Williams Palmer has some tips for you to get started.
What should be on your financial bucket list?
1. Create a 6-month emergency fund
An emergency fund is money you can access at any time to cover unexpected expenses like a car repair or home repair.
The problem is, about 55 million Americans have no emergency savings. Even worse, nearly a third of baby boomers claim they have no money saved.
A 6-month emergency fund might sound like a lot but Williams says these bucket list goals should be ambitious.
2. Have a perfect credit score
A perfect credit score is not an easy accomplishment. Less than 1 percent of the population has a perfect 850 credit score.
One of the benefits of a high credit score is qualifying for lower interest rates on loans, which will save you money.
If a perfect score seems unattainable, Williams says to set a goal to get your credit score in the “excellent” range, which is 750 to 850.
3. Own your home
Your mortgage is likely your largest debt. The average mortgage debt per household is just over $184,000.
Williams says a good way to work toward the goal of owning your home is to set a date that you want to have your mortgage paid off and make additional payments toward your principal.
You can try to manage your mortgage with a calculator on his website, williamspalmer.com, that will show you how putting extra money toward your principal each month will help you meet your goal.
4. Create a financial plan
One of the biggest fears Williams hears from people is that they are worried about running out of money in retirement. It’s important to find a financial advisor who takes the time to get to know your unique situation.
How do you get started?
Williams says to start small by saving $10 to $20 a week and work your way toward saving 15 percent of every paycheck. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck into a separate savings account or your 401k.
He also says to cut unnecessary expenses, like a rarely used gym membership or daily stops at the coffee shop, to keep more of your hard-earned money in your savings.